Nambucca Valley is 'main area of concern' for Carrai East fire

Photo by the Valla Rural Fire Brigade
Photo by the Valla Rural Fire Brigade

The main area of concern on the Carrai East Complex fire is now the south western fringe of the Nambucca Valley, where the fire made a significant run on Friday towards Upper Taylors Arm and Thumb Creek.

NSW RFS Incident Controller Lachlann Ison said the fire continued to burn in the areas of Hickeys Creek, Burrapine and Thumb Creek, under more moderate weather conditions over the weekend.

"The fire is also burning in the areas of Five Day Creek and Nulla Nulla," he said.

"Firefighters will today work to control the fire on these main fronts, undertaking backburning operations to strengthen containment lines, where conditions allow.

"In the Dungay-Wittitrin area the active fire has been contained after many weeks of hard work by firefighting crews supported by heavy plant and aircraft and will be patrolled for some time.

"There were significant fire impacts in Bellbrook and Nulla Nulla late on Friday with the fire crossing Nulla Nulla Creek Road and Armidale Road east of Bellbrook,"

Firefighting crews from RFS, NPWS and Tasmanian Fire Service were able to protect the village with air support and undertook asset protection for rural properties where possible.

Crews were also able to protect the boyhood home of Slim Dusty on Nulla Nulla Creek Road, 50km west of Kempsey.

Spot fire threatened Slim Dusty's boyhood home last week. Photo from RFS Lower North Coast

Spot fire threatened Slim Dusty's boyhood home last week. Photo from RFS Lower North Coast

"Heavy machinery was used to place a firebreak around the cottage and crews made sure the fire didn't get close enough to threaten this popular attraction - known as the birthplace of Australian country music" Mr Ison said.

David Kirkpatrick, on the RFS Lower North Coast Team's facebook site, said "what the RFS and people like the Duffs and Mitchell's (neighbours) are doing day in day out all over Australia embodies the spirit of the bush that Slim so loved and sung about - You've done us proud!".

Outlook

"We now have incident management staff, firefighting crews and support teams from RFS, NPWS, Forest Corp and numerous other NSW agencies, as well as Tasmania, South Australia, Canada and contractors working on this fire," Mr Ison said.

"Firefighters, supported by heavy machinery and aircraft, continue to protect properties as the fire comes down onto cleared country.

"Strategic work is also underway northwest of Bowraville where the Andersons Creek fire is expected to approach the northern and western boundary of Nambucca Shire.

"Heavy machinery is establishing containment lines northwest of Girralong to protect the Kalang, Upper Nambucca and Missabotti valleys.

"However, as we've already seen this season, containment is proving challenging in such steep forested country under very dry conditions and with so much fire in the landscape.

"Tomorrow, Tuesday, the weather is forecast to be hot with temperatures up to 35o, and moderate winds from the north in the afternoon. This has the potential to cause some erratic fire behaviour."

For more information contact the Kempsey Fire Control Centre on 02 6563 7100 For current incidents or major fire updates visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

Advice

People in the areas of Bellbrook, Five Day Creek, Nulla Nulla and Hickeys Creek, should monitor the changing conditions. Know what you will do if the fire threatens.

Further north, residents of Upper Taylors Arm, Burrapine and Thumb Creek also need to be vigilant, monitor conditions, and be ready to follow their bush fire survival plans. Leaving early is your safest option.

If you are in Girralong, North Arm and Missabotti, monitor conditions. Check and follow your Bush Fire Survival Plan. If you do not have a plan, decide what you will do if the situation changes. Again, leaving early is your safest option.

If you are in an area that has already been affected by fire, such as Dungay or Bellbrook, there may be small areas of active fire burning for some time. Be aware of the dangers of trees and branches falling and rocks being dislodged in steep areas.

The Armidale-Kempsey Road is now open after trees and rocks were cleared yesterday. Work to address identified dangerous trees is now underway with local traffic control when required.

Information

  • Continue to stay up to date with the bush fire situation by checking www.rfs.nsw.gov.au, listening to local radio or by calling the NSW RFS Bush Fire Information Line on 1800 679 737.
  • For information on livestock, call the Ag and Animal Services hotline on 1800 814 647.
  • For information on road closures, check www.livetraffic.com. Roads may be closed without warning.
  • If you need to report a new fire or require urgent assistance, dial Triple Zero (000).

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